What is more comforting than friends, more attentive than a lover, more healing than good health, more awe-inspiring than the most beautiful music, more precious than diamonds, more brilliant than sunlight, and more joyful than happiness? For many people, it is grace. But what exactly is grace? It is easy to recognize but difficult to define. The word grace has many meanings, including beauty, elegance, charm, mercy, flow, harmony, and divine love.
Today, the simple definition that pleases me the most is the experience of awe, gratitude, and unconditional love when you are in harmony with yourself, with others, and with the power that creates the universe (God). It is the harmonious union of your body, mind, and spirit with the way of nature. Grace is the spiritual freedom that arises when you realize that life is a gift. From this awareness, you seek to live in unison with the power that creates the universe. From this friendship arises a profound feeling of happiness as well as spiritual, emotional, and mental freedom. For years, I have sought to find a simple, elegant definition of grace. There are many interpretations of this beautiful word, grace. Below, you can see a list of various stories about the word grace, and the description of its value.
Grace Aligns with the Divine – When a person lives in alignment with reality rather than struggles with illusions, they are living in a state of grace. “Align with the Divine” may also be expressed as “Harmonizing with the Whole,” “Go with the Flow,” “Synergize with Source.” As Henry Miller noted, “The world is not to be put in order; the world is in order. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.” When we are in unison with this order, we feel a sense of grace.
Grace is Awakening – Grace is awakening to the natural order of the universe. This awakening allows you to understand, appreciate, and accept reality rather than clinging to illusions. Awakening to reality creates cognitive harmony, in which everything makes sense, as opposed to cognitive discordance, in which conflicting world views collide. Grace is a prolonged “ah-ha” moment. Grace is awakening to the paradox that we can never be fully aware of reality as it is, only as we, with our limited perceptions, can see it. This awakening may initially be perceived with terror because, at first, greater awareness can be disorienting, just as walking into the light can be as blinding as walking into the darkness. Yet expanded consciousness inevitably leads to intense gratitude and actions motivated by compassion.
Grace is Authenticity – “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” ~ Jesus, according to the gospel of Thomas. Grace is when you authentically acknowledge your feelings and thoughts. Grace welcomes all souls and, paradoxically, liberates you from the impulse to act on feelings that serve anything less than the highest good.
Grace is Balance – When you are in balance, you are in grace. This balance is dynamic equilibrium rather than a steady-state. Often, this balance seems a paradox: joy and sorrow, fear and love, give and take, dark and light, yin, and yang. Yet as Heraclitus noted, opposites are necessary for the balance of existence: “All things come into being by conflict of opposites.”
Grace is Born Again – For many, the experience of grace feels like one is born again. One is born again when fear, anger, and cynicism die, and hope, faith, and charity are born. To be born again is to be taken into the realization that the power that creates the universe (Nature, God) supports you and that if you align with these forces, you can co-create a life of abundance and joy.
Grace is Clarity – Grace is the ability to discern priorities from the hordes of distractions that clamor for your attention. Grace is a process of knowledge.
Grace is Connection – Grace is the realization that you are connected (immersed) in a perfect relationship with the ultimate source of existence (Universe, God, Spirit). In unity with the ultimate source, you can let love flow through you, allowing for deeper intimacy with others. Grace will enable you to see your connections to those beyond apparent next of kin so that even as you see their flaws, you also understand their divinity. Grace is the awareness that all creatures share the same DNA and that all life is not only connected, but also interdependent.
Grace is Courage – You are in a state of grace when, during those moments when you can see no way out of a predicament, you know that love will prevail. Even though you may feel afraid, there is so much love in your heart that you know you will not give up. Grace is the warmth in your heart that gives you courage.
Grace is Divine Love – Grace is unconditional love. Grace is the experience that the powers that create the universe support you. Grace is the practice of divine love that inevitably leads to kindness, just as inevitably as water flows downstream.
Grace is Beyond Happiness – Happiness is a state of mind that may be oblivious to problems, pain, and conflict. In contrast, grace is a state of mind that acknowledges adversities and transcends them. In comparison, grace clarifies the cause of the pain, thereby enabling a person to deal with the source of the pain effectively. Furthermore, grace is lasting and leaves no hangover or addiction.
Grace From laughter – “Laughter is carbonated holiness.” ~ Anne Lamott. One of the quickest paths to grace is laughter. Just as a smile is a frown, turned upside down, humor quickly reveals a different perspective.
Grace is Universal – Grace is for all people of all paths. Different people attain grace in diverse ways. Grace may be achieved by following the essential teachings of Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Patanjali, Mohammed, your enlightened and loving grandmother, your best friend, your pen pal, your hairdresser, your own higher self, and many others. All people, regardless of religion, history, and ability have access to grace.
Grace is YES! – It is the realization that everything is working for you, that your body, mind, and spirit are all aligned for the single purpose of bringing more wisdom, love, and joy into the world. When you realize that the entire universe is conspiring on your behalf, you are experiencing grace. Grace is a sense of grand alignment when your inner and outer purposes align to bring more abundance into the world. These are some of my definitions of Grace.
Grace is Delighted in Uncertainty “In the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, from the prison of past conditioning. Uncertainty is the fertile ground of creativity and freedom.” –Deepak Chopra